Saturday, November 14, 2009

West White Pine Mountain

West and East White Pine Mountains behind a stand of aspen.

Headed back out to Buckhorn Canyon this morning for a run up West White Pine Mountain - across the canyon from Lookout Mtn, which I ran/slogged with Pete last weekend.

It had snowed a bit the night before, but I wasn't too concerned about that, and was just hoping there wasn't too much crusty accumulation from weeks prior as there was on Lookout last weekend. I think I finally learned my lesson today.

Taken from 44H & FR100. FR100 takes you up to the saddle then cuts up to the west summit (left).

The first couple of miles up FR100 - pretty much jeep track - weren't too bad as I was able to get into the tracks of a hunter's ATV that had been through before me. However, once I hit the ridge it was fresh powder on top of really rutted, deep and crusty nastiness. I gave up on the run and hiked the last half mile to the summit (10,305'), which offered some nice glimpses of mountain-scape through the trees to the south and up the Poudre Canyon to the northwest.

Much like last week, I gave up on a planned longer loop and came straight back down for 6 miles and 2,000' on the morning. Not the greatest workout, but it's always good to be out in the woods.

Mummy Range.
Lookout left, Signal right. The Donner pass trail will hook you into both summits from Box Prairie.
Estes' Twin Sisters made a brief appearance.
Looking northwest out to the Poudre Canyon.

Although I'm done with Buckhorn for the winter, I'll definitely be back in late spring to log some serious miles up here. Box Prairie begins at 8'300' and offers quick access to some solid 10,000'+ miles if you head South out to Lookout, Signal and beyond. The trail up West White Pine continues north up to Old Flowers Road, offering some short, long and longer loop opportunities.

Through the lower elevation stuff today, and on Lookout, there were some nice aspen groves, which would no doubt be stunning for an autumn run.


  1. Yeah, I think the season above 9000 is pretty much done.

    If you are around next weekend or Thanksgiving week and want to run let me know.

  2. Sounds like you're not giving up the trails without a fight. Just got a foot of snow up here in Evergreen. Gonna be a while before it melts off.


  3. Jim - Well I've given up on anything above 9,000', but the trails around Fort Collins tend to be fair game for most of the winter. We don't have anything higher than 7,300'.

    We got about half what you had in Evergreen. I'd be surprised if there's much snow left by the middle of next week.